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High Stakes Friday, 26 January, 2001, 11:01 GMT
High Stakes: Introduction
High Stakes is a series of three programmes about the dramatic growth of legal gambling over the last 50 years.

Click here to listen to a message from presenter John Inverdale

John Inverdale

It focuses on how gambling has been transformed from an activity that society regarded as illegal and immoral into something that is respectable, accessible and VERY big business.

Americans wager more on legal gambling - some $600 billion annually - than they spend on the food they eat. In Britain alone. over 42 billion is wagered each year. Australians spend 37 billion a year gambling.

A global industry

With unique access to casinos across three continents, "High Stakes" features gamblers from Britain, America and Australia across half a century of gambling.

It talks to those running the games - from the gambling bosses of organised crime to the 'suits' running today's 'Disneyland's with dice'. And it features those addicted gamblers who can't break the habit.

It looks at how governments got themselves into the luck business and the programmes examine what the future holds for those societies keen to foster a culture of chance.

Links to more High Stakes stories are at the foot of the page.


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Links to more High Stakes stories

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